Industry News | April 6, 2011

Zaxby's Launches Star-Studded Commercials

Zaxby’s is enlisting two stars accustomed to the red carpet in its latest celebrity-themed TV commercials. Ryan Stiles, best known for his work on the improvisational comedy “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” adds hype to the limited-time return of the guest favorite Birthday Cake Milkshake, and “E! News” host Giuliana Rancic also appears in spots to pitch The Blue, a popular salad.

Currently appearing in the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men,” Stiles helps reintroduce the Birthday Cake Milkshake, a festive cake-batter-flavored milkshake mixed with multicolored sprinkles and finished off with chocolate whipped topping. Created last summer as a limited-time-only offer by the restaurant in honor of its 20th year, the shake was well received by fans and proved to be a top seller.

“The milkshake was a huge hit with our guests last summer,” says Zach McLeroy, CEO and founder of Zaxby’s. “Fans have been longing for its return, and we’re happy to give them another taste of this delicious treat!”

Rancic is known for her red carpet interviews and Style Network reality show “Giuliana and Bill,” where she appears alongside her husband, the first-season winner of NBC’s “The Apprentice.” In her commercials, she praises the flavor of The Blue, which features a bed of mixed greens, red cabbage, carrots, roma tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, and fried onions, complemented by the restaurant’s Texas toast. This Zalad is a core item on the restaurant’s salad menu, and it can be topped with the chain’s Buffalo Fingerz or blackened chicken.

The commercials will air in 46 markets through the chain’s 12-state operating area. The chain’s nearly 300,000 Facebook fans received an exclusive look at the spots prior to TV broadcast.

One of the first fast-casual restaurants, Zaxby’s offers menu items that are prepared at order. Zaxby’s most popular items are its hand-breaded chicken fingers and jumbo Buffalo wings smothered in a choice of nine sauces with expressive names like Wimpy, Tongue Torch, Nuclear, and Insane. The menu also offers dishes like Spicy Fried Mushrooms, freshly prepared Zalads, unique sandwiches, Party Platterz, and milkshakes.